We all know how to use Google search to find things we want to learn about, but sometimes it can be tough to pin down exactly what we want using Safari. Google’s newest tool, available in the Google app on your iPhone, might be the smartest way to find anything.
It’s called multisearch, and here’s how it works. When you launch the Google app, you’ll see a small camera icon next to the search bar. Tap it and you’ll launch Google Lens, which will let you snap a pic of something you see or search your photos for a screenshot or picture of something you like.
That will bring up search results based on what Google Lens sees, and it’s pretty good. But multisearch takes it a step further. After your search results appear, you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen and press the “+ Add to your search” button to add text to your search.
For example, if you take a photo of a MacBook, you can add “M1 Max” to find more specific results. Or you can take a picture of a plant and type “care instructions” and multisearch will both identify the type of plant and take you to a page with watering and sunlight instructions.
Multisearch is still in beta, so search results can be a little wonky, but it’s a very cool way to find things. The engine is powered by Google’s artificial intelligence, which is clearly way ahead of Apple and everybody else.
Multisearch probably won’t replace standard text search for the vast majority of searches and many people will consider it a gimmick, but I’ve never used a cooler search tool. Google Lens has gotten very good at searching images, and the addition of text only makes it stronger. For example, I took a picture of a Nintendo Switch controller and it recognized it. When I typed “red” it instantly filtered out all other colors.
It’s the kind of feature that could lead to bigger things. Apple is reportedly working on an AR/VR headset, for example, which could benefit from this kind of tech for no-keyboard search. Google has developed a system that will only improve with time and use, and it’ll be fun to watch how it develops.
So go check out multisearch in the Google app on your iPhone. It might just be the next big thing.